Pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course is a dream for most degree students. It’s an excellent way to gain valuable knowledge, skills, and networks that help advance your career or start your business. However, you should first understand how to prepare for MBA entrance exam and pass to enroll in a top MBA program.
The entrant’s a challenging and competitive test that assesses your critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, and communication skills. Here are top tips to help you prepare for MBA entrance exam and increase your chances of success:
Understanding the Exam Format of the MBA Entrance Exam
The first step in preparing for MBA entrance examination is to understand the exam format. An MBA entrance exam format varies depending on the institution and the type of exam you take. There are several MBA entrance exams, such as GMAT, GRE, CAT, CMAT, XAT, MAT, and SNAP.
Each MBA entrance examination has its structure, content, and scoring system. Most of them include sections on quantitative ability, verbal ability, and data interpretation. Others include general knowledge, essay writing, or business case analysis sections.
For example, the GMAT exam consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. You must answer these sections in 3 hours and 7 minutes and have two 8-minute breaks. The GRE has six sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning (2), Quantitative Reasoning (2), and an unscored research section, and it takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Types of MBA Entrance Exams
To prepare for the MBA entrance exam, you should know the specific type of exam to take. This helps determine the particular skills the test requires, so you prepare for it. For instance, a GMAT exam preparation involves focusing on your quantitative, verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning abilities.
As for GRE exam preparation, you may need to practice your critical thinking, analytical writing, and quantitative and verbal reasoning skills. These are the key areas or skills which the GRE exam tests. Here’s a brief overview of other common types of MBA entrance exams:
- CAT (Common Admission Test): A computer-based exam that tests your communication skills, reading comprehension, data interpretation, logical reasoning, and quantitative ability.
- CMAT (Common Management Admission Test): A computer-based test that assesses quantitative techniques and data interpretation, logical reasoning, language comprehension, and general awareness.
- XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test): It’s a paper-based test to assess verbal and logical ability, decision-making, quantitative ability and data interpretation, and general knowledge.
- MAT (Management Aptitude Test): A paper-based and computer-based test to examine your language comprehension, mathematical skills, data analysis, intelligence, and critical reasoning.
- SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test): It’s a computer-based test administered to assess general English, analytical and logical reasoning, quantitative, and data interpretation.
- NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test): This computer-based test assesses a candidate’s language, quantitative, and logical reasoning skills.
- ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions): It’s a computer-based test that evaluates analytical reasoning, verbal, quantitative, and analytical reasoning skills.
Once you decide which MBA entrance exam to take, research the program you wish to apply for and the institution’s requirements. Compare the different exams’ formats to determine which suits your strengths and preferences.
Exam Sections and Time Management
Time management is one of the most important aspects of MBA entrance examination preparation. Understand the sections of each exam and allocate time accordingly on how to tackle them effectively.
Each section of the MBA entrance exam often has a specific number of questions and time limit, which varies according to the exam type. For example, the GMAT Quantitative section has 31 questions with a time limit of 62 minutes, while the Verbal section has 36 questions (65 minutes).
To manage your time effectively, divide the total time available for each section by the number of questions. Doing so helps you determine how much time to allocate to each question. Practice time management during your preparation by setting a timer while taking practice tests. Remember to answer easier questions first and then move to the challenging ones to maximize your time.
Marking Scheme and Scoring Pattern
Different exams use different marking schemes and scoring systems, such as scaled scores, percentile rankings, and composite scores. Research and understand the marking scheme, scoring pattern, and rules to identify the areas to focus on during your MBA entrance preparation. Then strategize how you’ll answer the questions to improve your score.
For instance, the GMAT uses a computer-adaptive testing (CAT) format, which adjusts the difficulty level of the questions based on your previous answers. Its score ranges from 200 to 800, with a percentile ranking that compares your performance to other test-takers.
The GRE uses a similar CAT format as the GMAT. Its score ranges from 130 to 170 for each section, with a percentile ranking for the verbal and quantitative sections. The GRE also includes an analytical writing section, scored separately on a scale of 0 to 6.
Some MBA entrance exams, such as the Executive Assessment (EA), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAC), and the Common Admission Test (CAT), have their scoring systems and formats. Other exams like IIFT and MICAT use a negative marking scheme, which penalizes you for incorrect answers, while others may not. Read the instructions carefully and practice with mock tests to get familiar with the scoring system and avoid making mistakes.
Creating a Study Plan for your MBA entrance exam
Preparing for MBA entrance exam requires creating an effective study plan that suits your learning style, schedule, and goals. Ensure your study plan includes the following elements:
- Assessment of Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Identify your areas of expertise and the topics or skills that require improvement.
- SMART Goals: Set realistic and specific goals for each section and the overall exam. Ensure your study plan goals are measurable, achievable, and time-bound.
- Study Schedule: Allocate sufficient time for each section and topic, considering your other commitments and deadlines. Break down your schedule into daily, weekly, and monthly goals to suit your needs.
- Study Materials: Choose high-quality study materials, such as textbooks, online courses, practice tests, and flashcards, that cover all the relevant concepts and formats.
- Practice Tests: Take practice tests regularly to assess your progress, identify your weaknesses, and improve your timing and accuracy. Analyze your test results and adjust your study plan accordingly.
- Revision and Review: Review the topics you have covered regularly and revise the ones you find challenging. Use different methods to enhance your retention, such as summarizing, mnemonics, and visual aids.
Essential Study Materials for the preparation of your MBA exam
When preparing for MBA entrance examination, you need excellent access to effective study materials. This should help you master the required skills and concepts to pass your exam. Here are some essential study materials to consider:
- Official Guidebooks: Most MBA entrance exams have official guidebooks that provide detailed information about the exam format, content, and scoring system. These guidebooks also contain sample questions and explanations to improve your knowledge.
- Online Courses and Tutorials: Enroll in online courses and tutorials from reputable test-prep companies. These courses comprehensively cover exam topics, video lessons, and practice tests, offering personalized feedback to sharpen your knowledge.
- Practice Tests and Question Banks: Access a vast selection of practice tests and question banks online or in books. These tests simulate the exam conditions and allow you to practice your timing and accuracy. You may also use them to identify your weaknesses and strengths.
- Study Groups and Forums: Joining a study group or forum helps you connect with other test-takers, share your experiences, and learn from each other. You get valuable tips and advice from experts and mentors to help you prepare and pass your MBA entrance exam.
Conduct thorough research on the study materials available and choose those that suit your learning style and needs. Consider hiring a tutor to help you prepare adequately for your entrance exam.
Exam Day Strategies
On your MBA entrance examination day, be confident and well-prepared to maximize your performance. Arrive at the examination center early and ensure you have all the necessary materials and requirements. Then take steps to manage exam anxiety, such as breathing exercises or positive self-talk.
During the exam, read each question carefully and manage your time effectively. The following sections offer some exam-day strategies to help increase your chances of success:
Tips for Managing Exam Anxiety
It’s common to feel anxious or nervous before and during the exam. Yet, excessive anxiety may impair your performance and lead to mistakes. Here are some MBA entrance preparation tips for managing exam anxiety:
- Get enough sleep and rest the night to enhance your memory and focus.
- Eat a healthy meal and hydrate well to nourish your brain.
- Arrive at the test center early and familiarize yourself with the surroundings to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Take deep breaths and practice relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness and visualization, to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Avoid comparing yourself to other test-takers or getting distracted by external factors.
Dos and Don’ts on Exam Day
There are various dos and don’ts to remember during your MBA entrance examination preparation to ensure a smooth and successful experience on the exam day. Here are a few examples:
- Bring all the necessary documents and materials, such as your ID, admission ticket, pencils, and erasers.
- Follow the instructions carefully and ask for clarification if you have doubts.
- Pace yourself and manage your time wisely.
- Stay focused and avoid getting distracted or daydreaming.
- Read and follow the exam instructions carefully.
- Cram or intensively study the night before the exam to avoid forgetting or exhaustion.
- Forget to switch off your electronic devices or leave them outside the exam room, as they may affect your focus.
- Panic if you encounter a complex or unfamiliar question to retain your confidence.
- Rush or guess randomly without analyzing the options to improve your success chances.
Time Management and Question Selection
During your MBA entrance preparation, practice using your time efficiently and strategically. Below are a few tips for time management and question selection to try:
- Read the instructions and questions carefully.
- Allocate your time proportionally to the difficulty and value of each section and question. For example, if you find the quantitative section more challenging, you should spend more time on it.
- Prioritize the questions you know well and can answer quickly. This helps boost your confidence and save time for the more challenging questions.
- Use the skip-and-review technique to navigate through the sections and questions. Return to the skipped or marked questions later if you have time.
- Don’t spend too much time on any single question or section. If you get stuck, move on and return later to save time and maximize your performance.
Seek Help from Experts Today
Preparing for the MBA entrance examination is a challenging yet rewarding journey. You only need to understand the MBA entrance exam types, formats, marking schemes, and scoring systems. Create a study plan and use effective study materials to increase your chances of success. On exam day, stay calm, manage your time effectively, and make strategic choices to maximize your score.
If you need additional support or assistance preparing for the MBA entrance Exam, 101 Papers is ready to help. We offer the best study materials and resources to aid your success. Our experts also provide reliable Business Assignment Help and MBA Essay Writing Services to suit your needs. Contact us today to help you achieve your academic and career goals.